Library of Heaven is Path
911 Saint Ascension Decipher
Chapter 911: Saint Ascension Decipher
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Change clothes?" Mu shi's puppet was stunned.
What does changing your clothes have to do with whether you are able to defeat me or not?
"The clothes I am currently wearing were specially prepared by the Master Teacher Academy, and they are extremely valuable. With them on, it is inevitable that my movements will be restricted. Only after changing back into my master teacher robe will I be able to fight you with my full strength!" Zhang Xuan explained.
Hearing those words, Mu shi's puppet frowned and asked, "Isn't the robe you are wearing a powerful artifact?"
Zhang Xuan was still wearing the robe that the Blacksmith School and Celestial Designer School had specially made for the inauguration ceremony. Not only was it tailored to fit him snugly, it was even a Spirit pinnacle artifact that boasted incredible defense. The academy had paid a hefty sum in order to complete it.
With eyes as sharp as Mu shi's, he could tell that the robe was extraordinary from the very first sight. Even a pig could become a hero with that armor, and yet, the young man before him said that it lowered his fighting prowess?
Wasn't that plain nonsense?
"It is indeed a powerful artifact, but in my humble opinion, I think comfortable clothes still make the best battledress," Zhang Xuan replied with a smile. "Pardon me, but I will have to ask Mu shi to turn around for a moment. I don't really like to expose my bare body to others…"
"… Alright then!" Shaking his head, Mu shi's puppet decided to just go along with Zhang Xuan and turn around.
Actually, it was not completely unheard of for a cultivator for change clothes in preparation for a battle, but that was usually only for terpsichoreans. Terpsichoreans utilized glamorous clothes to enhance their charisma so that they could better charm their opponent.
Could the young man before it… be a terpsichorean?
But even if that was the case, it was futile!
Terpsichorean arts worked against the soul, but as a puppet, it didn't possess a soul.
Besides… terpsichores were usually beautiful ladies. For a man to be exerting his seductive charms toward it… Mu shi's puppet suddenly felt a nauseated sensation in his guts.
Even though it was a puppet, it could almost feel its goosebumps rising.
At that very moment, it heard a cold and slightly haughty voice speak. "I'm done."
Turning around, Mu shi's puppet saw that the young man before it had changed his previously eye-catching wear into a rather ordinary-looking robe.
"This… You really intend to fight me with just an ordinary master teacher robe?" Mu shi's puppet couldn't help but be taken aback.
It could understand it if the other party had changed his clothes to a Half-Saint robe or something; after all, clothes could affect one's fighting prowess too… But to switch back to the perfectly ordinary master teacher robe…
It was just as if one had switched a Spirit pinnacle sword to a perfect ordinary blade! No matter how one looked at it, wasn't the other party just handicapping himself?
Are you really certain that you are trying to defeat me and not suffer a beating?
"Indeed!" Zhang Xuan nodded as he gazed at the other party proudly with his hands behind his back. "This ordinary robe is sufficient for me to subdue you!"
"You seem really confident. Let's start then." Seeing how the young man before it had suddenly grown so arrogant right after changing clothes, the face of Mu shi's puppet darkened, and it clenched its fists tightly.
This time, Mu shi's puppet took the first move.
Its fist surged forward with immense might that collapsed the air around it.
In order to make the other party learn that his efforts were futile, it had utilized its full strength right from the start, making its attack far more powerful and threatening than before.
"Just what I wanted!"
The Zhang Xuan after changing his clothes stood on the spot in composure, showing not a sign of fear or respect. With a taunting smile, he retaliated with a punch of his own.
"Hmm?" Seeing that the young man was going to face its attack face-on, Mu shi's puppet frowned.
It had gained a clear grasp of the other party's strength from their short battle earlier, and it knew that it was impossible for the other party to withstand an attack of its full might. For the other party to face its punch head-on…
Did the other party change his brain as well as his clothes?
If its punch were to land squarely on him, he could very well die!
At that moment, Mu shi's puppet couldn't help but hesitate and consider whether or not it should retract a portion of the strength in its fist. However, before it could come to a decision, the two fists had already collided.
In that instant, the eyes of Mu shi's puppet narrowed.
It was still lamenting over the arrogant decision of the young man to face it head-on a moment ago, but as soon as their fists connected… it immediately realized that something was amiss.
It had expected to overwhelm the young man's punch in an instant, but what it encountered was a surge of devastating force pushing through its fist, leaving its entire body convulsing uncontrollably.
It was truly fortunate that it hadn't retracted its strength. Even with its full might, it wasn't confident that it could emerge as the victor of this direct clash!
"Go!" Bellowing furiously, a crescendoing creak sounded from the joints of Mu shi's puppet as it gathered every single inch of power it wielded in its body to match the young man's fist.
On the other hand, the young man opposite to it tilted his chin upwards and looked down on Mu shi's puppet with a hint of disdain in his eyes. At the same time, the force exerted in his fist intensified.
Before Mu shi's puppet could even react, it was already overpowered and sent flying over a distance of several dozen meters through the air before crashing heavily into the wall.
"This…" With a look of disbelief, Mu shi's puppet stared at the young man standing haughtily in the center of the room, aghast.
It was true that the young man had displayed an exceptional eye of discernment in the previous battle, identifying its flaws precisely and exploiting them promptly. However, the huge gap in the strength between them should have made it impossible for him to injure it at all… Why did it seem like he had turned into a wholly different person just by changing a set of clothes, sending him flying in a clash of brute strength?
Furthermore, from the looks of it, it seemed like he hadn't even exerted his full might yet.
It was inconceivable that there could be such a huge difference in a person within such a short span of time!
Without any hesitation, Mu shi's puppet immediately began to examine the young man before him from head to toe, but the latter's physical appearance and distinctive soul aura told it that it was still the same person as before. In other words, that fellow had really grown many times stronger just by changing a set of clothes!
With his hands placed behind his back, the young man standing at the center of the room declared haughtily, "You have lost."
"I…" It took a while before Mu shi's puppet finally recovered, and it shook its head bitterly. "Congratulations on clearing the ninth level. You are the first master teacher to clear the Mountain of Records ever since its establishment!"
It was still unable to make sense out of what happened—naturally, it didn't believe that a person could grow stronger just by changing a set of clothes—but a loss was still a loss. As the founder of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, it wouldn't stoop so low as to deny this.
On the other hand, the young man opposite to it simply waved his hands impatiently, acting as if it was a given that he would win.
"You are the greatest talent our Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy has ever had since it was founded ten thousand years ago. As a reward for clearing the Mountain of Records, I will pass down this secret art, which I have held onto dearly for my entire life, 'Saint Ascension Decipher'!"
Paying no heed to the young man's arrogance, Mu shi's puppet chuckled softly as it took out a book and passed it over.
"Saint Ascension Decipher?" the young man asked doubtfully.
"Indeed!" Mu shi's puppet smiled. "As a master teacher, you must have at least heard of how Kong shi ascended to Sainthood?"
"I have… According to what I know, he is a Celestial Saint," the young man replied with a nod.
It was said that when Kong shi made the leap from Nascent Saint to Saint realm, he received the recognition of the heaven and became a Celestial Saint, and the Saint Ascension Platform was testimony to that deed.
He had been there himself, and it wasn't much of a secret.
"Indeed, he is a Celestial Saint!"
At this point, a bright gleam surfaced in the eyes of Mu shi's puppet. "A Saint recognized by the heavens will not only possess strength superior to others, it will also serve as the foundation for him to reach heights far beyond others… Over the years, innumerable master teachers have attempted to emulate Kong shi's feat and become a Celestial Saint as well, but to date… none have achieved it!
"I happened to obtain this Saint Ascension Decipher by some stroke of luck back in my time, and detailed within it is the process of how Kong shi cultivated to Sainthood, and from it, I was able to compile a feasible cultivation technique!
"It isn't a guarantee to becoming a Celestial Saint, but if a cultivator cultivates it strictly, he will be able to strengthen his foundation and raise his strength before Sainthood by at least twofold!"
"Twofold?" the young man exclaimed with widened eyes.
Typically speaking, the strength increments for the rise of each stage and realm from Half-Saint to Saint realm were fixed. Yet, to raise one's strength before Sainthood by twofold… Just how strong must one's foundation be?
If one were to achieve a breakthrough with such a strong cultivation foundation, even if one didn't receive the acknowledgement of the heavens, one would still wield strength far surpassing ordinary Saint realm cultivators!
"Indeed! This Saint Ascension Decipher does indeed have the ability to raise one's fighting prowess significantly. However, there is a fatal flaw to it as well…" At which point, Mu shi's puppet shook its head. "Due to the exceedingly strong foundation, it will be far harder for a practitioner of the technique to achieve a breakthrough compared to their counterparts! Back then, I was greedy to aim for the best, but as a result, I missed the golden growth period for me to advance my cultivation. As a result, my cultivation remained stagnant until my death, and this is my greatest regret…"
The young man fell silent.
The other party was right. To gain something, one had to give up another thing in return.
To raise one's strength by twofold before Sainthood, it wasn't too difficult to imagine the strength of the cultivation foundation required for that. It was indeed good to have a strong foundation, but it also made it far more difficult to achieve a breakthrough.
Take the Heaven's Path Divine Art for example, it had granted Zhang Xuan an incredibly strong foundation, which would allow him to reach greater heights in the future. But in exchange for that, he had to absorb more, far purer spiritual energy than others in order to advance his cultivation, and this was the main reason his progress had been slow.
In fact, it seemed to have been even slower in recent days.
It had nearly been two months, but he had only raised his cultivation by four realms. Just thinking about it was sufficient to leave his face reddening in shame.
"I will leave the final decision to you. In any case, you have three days to study this book, and what you are able to gain from it within this period of time will be dependent on yourself!"
Oblivious to Zhang Xuan's reddened face, Mu shi's puppet passed a book over.
"Alright!" The young man nodded and took the book. After which, he hesitated for a brief moment before saying, "Before studying the book, I would like to change my clothes once more. I will have to ask Mu shi to turn around for a moment."
"… Alright then." Mu shi's puppet was rendered speechless by how troublesome the young man before him was being, but eventually, it still chose to accede to the latter's request.
After confirming that Mu shi had averted his gaze, the young man heaved a sigh of relief. With a thought, an identical figure materialized before him, and just by making eye contact for a brief instant, the materialized figure was able to get a sense of what had happened.
"Alright, clone. You should return for now," the materialized figure said with a wave of his hand.
"Yes, main body," the young man replied before vanishing into thin air.
Naturally, the materialized figure was the real Zhang Xuan whereas the young man who had defeated Mu shi's puppet earlier was his clone.
Just by trading two blows, Zhang Xuan could already tell that he wasn't a match for the other party. Thus, using 'changing clothes' as an excuse, he made use of the opportunity to switch places with his clone.
While the latter was not a particularly reliable figure to count on, his fighting prowess was indeed formidable.
No matter how many breakthroughs Zhang Xuan had made, he was still overpowered by his clone without fail each time, smashed mercilessly into the ground…
Even if Zhang Xuan himself wasn't a match for Mu shi's puppet, he was still confident that his puppet would be able to subdue the latter with ease.
And as expected, his clone didn't let him down. He had successfully defeated Mu shi's clone and cleared the ninth level.
But in a sense, this couldn't really be considered cheating either. After all, his clone could also be considered a part of himself too, so there was no doubt that the strength of his clone was his strength as well.
Nevertheless, Zhang Xuan still chose to do it discreetly so as to prevent the existence of his clone from leaking out somehow.
After all, it was a trump card he could use in dire situations, and it wouldn't do for his enemies to learn about it in advance.
After making the swap, Zhang Xuan informed Mu shi that he was done before turning his attention to the book in his hand.